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Thread: Any experience of the RME ADI-2 DAC ?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 36
    I'm David.

    Default Any experience of the RME ADI-2 DAC ?

    Since upgrading my preamp I've decided that my CD source, the Oppo 95, is probably a weak link in my set up so I'm looking at upgrades.
    I got some great suggestions on here previously about replacing the Oppo with an Audiolab 6000 CD transport & Soncoz SDG1 DAC, and was ready to press the button.

    However, I'm hoping this will be a Final Upgrade (no, really), so spent some time looking at DACs further up the chain sound quality-wise and do like the look of the RME ADI-2,but as I have so little understanding of DACs generally I'm not sure if the improvement over the Soncoz would be signinficant, if any.

    If anyone would like to weigh in with thoughts/advice/opinion I'd be grateful.
    A deal breaker is that the DAC will need to have volume control.
    Croft 25RS / Croft 7R monos / Neat Ultimatum XLS / Oppo 95

  2. #2
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 30,273
    I'm Martin.

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    I wouldn't assume the RME has better sound quality - from a purely measurement point of view it's not actually as good as the Soncoz, although there's nothing much in it.

    Doesn't necessarily mean they will sound identical but very unlikely to be a big difference. Although I think the RME has an NOS option that might give a slightly different take on things.

    The RME more expensive because it is made in Germany instead of China and has many additional features over the Soncoz.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* SoncozSGD1 * Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Woking

    Posts: 593
    I'm Chris.

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    Agree with Macca, when DAC's measure this well (upper end of available measurements) I doubt there would be much in it. I was in the same conundrum. As I don't need any of the additional features the RME offers it was just a case of price/value, where the Soncoz wins hands down. Also thought about offerings from Mytek/Benchmark and the Topping D90.

    Now the SGD1 is in my system and I'm completely satisfied (and more) by it's performance. Some reviews have criticised ESS-Sabre DACs for being somewhat bright or thin but none of that here. It is vastly over engineered internally with quality separate power supplies for digital and analogue sections.

    The "ESS hump" issue has also now been fixed on all new units.

    For the performance the price is excellent.
    System 1: - Amp - Musical Paradise MP-701 - Neurochrome 686
    - Source: Linn LP12 (AT-OC9XEN) - D-Klimo LAR copy - Novafidelity X12 - Musical Paradise MP-D1 mkII -
    - Speakers: Cambridge Acoustic "Grand Master Evolution" Subs: - REL T3's -

    System 2 - Amp: Marantz 1060
    - Source: Audio Technica LP5 - EAR834p clone - Pioneer N-30K - Musical Paradise MP-D1 -
    - Speakers: Loth X BS1's - Sub: REL T3 -

    System 3: - Amp: Custom N-core 300B SEP -
    - Source: Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 - Topping E30 -
    - Speakers: Quad 63's -

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norfolk, UK

    Posts: 5,337
    I'm Rob.

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    I have an RME ADI-2 FS DAC (AK 4493) which has been in the system for a few weeks.

    How do I put it? "End game DAC". That will do nicely. It comfortably destroyed my very solid and well engineered Leema, it comfortably annihilated three DACs I tested it against (all very much more expensive), and the bewildering array of features ensures it can be tailored perfectly to your system. If you have knowledge of studio DACs and DSPs this will be to your delight. If you don't then you can use a few (or none) of the features - but they ARE worth investigating, particularly the parametric EQ which can be used to remove artefacts of the room with ease. It's very subtle and remarkably flexible.

    Sound wise it has an immediacy, weight and detail retrieval I've not experienced before, and I've experienced a lot of DACs. Completely focussed on the music. Not edgy, not brash, not 'digital'. I can't really say more than that.

    It's a tiny unit which looks completely inoccuous, but it punches hard above its weight and that of DACs costing many times more. For the price you simply can't go wrong.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2021

    Location: Avening UK

    Posts: 11
    I'm Simon.

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    I'm going to buy the RME very soon. From what I read the differences to the Qutest are the square root of s*d all and it doesn't seem to need a separate power supply to perform as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norfolk, UK

    Posts: 5,337
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    Good move. The Qutest was one I tested against it.

    I chose the RME.
    Main system
    Ben Duncan mains conditioner
    ATL Audio DC mains trap
    Mac mini running Fidelia
    Samsung 55” TV
    XMOS DSD Async USB to Coax converter
    RME Audio ADI-2 FS (AK4493) DAC
    AD Audio bespoke balanced valve buffer stage with...
    1959 NOS RCA Red Base black plate 5691s
    Joe Henry-built Pass Labs Aleph 3 Class A power amp
    Reiver Acoustics Edingdales speakers
    BK Double Gem subwoofer
    Chord Clearway XLR interconnects
    Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC speaker cable
    Audioquest SLiP Neutrik subwoofer interconnect
    Audioquest Crimson USB interconnect
    QED Quartz Reference optical interconnect

    Secondary system
    iMac 27" 5K
    Technics TRS cassette deck
    Arcam rDAC
    Arcam A85 integrated amp
    Edifier S3000 Pro active speakers
    Atacama SE24 stands
    Chord Chameleon interconnects
    Audioquest Evergreen interconnects
    Silver Studio USB interconnect

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 76,292
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    the dac in the vena 2 is very good. as is the one in my current amp. not saying they cant be bettered but overall they are as good as most and better than many
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ ......Don't be such a big girl's blouse

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D - PANASONIC UB450 - IFI PURIFIER 2/PATHOS CLASSIC REMIX & HIDAC AMPLIFIER - LEAF HD BLUETOOTH - NURAPHONE' HEADPHONES - 2*ZBOOK'- ROON - MULTI HDD'S - DIGIONE RPI3 - EDINGDALE MK1 SPEAKERS - CABLE INC SUPRA, FISUAL, MOGAMI,

    **I’ve studied deeply in the philosophies and religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through**

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  8. #8
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 5,657
    I'm Alan.

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    I have just moved on from a Topping D90 Sigma delta dac to one of the new R-2R dacs.

    It is a Musician Pegasus dac and it annihilates the D90. There is more texture and depth with the rR2R. An experienced ear gave this report:

    'We put on a track i know really well, Leo Kottke - From Spink to Correctionville (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShF7yjU7Jqk)

    This is a great track to test for tone and realism, and seeing as he is picking and using a slide there is a lot of transient information, leading edges and decay. It's a tougher test than you may think.

    The Pegasus passed this audition with consummate ease. The guitar had oodles of tone. Realistically balanced and demonstrated texture and dimensionality. The soundstage was rather vivid with A 3D quality that lit up the ESL's, The music flowed with ease and the changes in rhythm and timing were easy to follow. I have only really experienced with the Soekris, and in stock form, the Pegasus hit the Soekris for six. HOWZAAATT!

    The transients were floating in the ether and decay was easily audible via the sustain on the notes or the resonance in the guitars body. Leading edges were quick, clean and the discharge of the force used to play the note was also easily audible. That's a hard one to explain but the note is loudest at it's start and thats what we heard. sensational stuff.'

    If you don't need bells and whistles I can highly recommend it as an end game dac.
    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 36
    I'm David.

    Default

    [QUOTE=Firebottle;1256248]I have just moved on from a Topping D90 Sigma delta dac to one of the new R-2R dacs.

    It is a Musician Pegasus dac and it annihilates the D90.

    Just taken a browse and it looks like a lovely piece of kit Alan, but no volume control from what I'm seeing and that's one of the requirements I have.
    Many thanks for the heads up though, and enjoy......
    Croft 25RS / Croft 7R monos / Neat Ultimatum XLS / Oppo 95

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 36
    I'm David.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    the dac in the vena 2 is very good. as is the one in my current amp. not saying they cant be bettered but overall they are as good as most and better than many
    Thanks Grant. My understanding of DACs is virtually non-existent but I think I'm looking for a dedicated DAC (if this makes sense) where your Vena seems to me to be an amp with a DAC ?
    If this is correct and as I have a pre and mono amps, maybe not quite what I'm after.
    Croft 25RS / Croft 7R monos / Neat Ultimatum XLS / Oppo 95

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